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By Eric Morse October 14, 2013

2014 Sales Coverage Model: The Need for Hunters

Growth, what does that mean to your business? At our Sales Consulting Firm, we look at growth from these perspectives:

Three Strategies

2. Growth by acquisition. This is where as part of your strategy you set a path for acquisitions to propel your growth. These are accomplished by adding products or solutions to your portfolio or by adding a customer base to sell your existing solutions to.

3. New Account growth. This is referred to as net new accounts or new logos. This is typically NOT referred as selling new dept. or divisions within existing accounts as that falls under organic growth.

These three strategies usually drive the strategies for the sales coverage models.

New Account Growth

Today I want to focus on New Account Growth and the need for hunters to execute upon that sales coverage model strategy. We have all seen the many articles that talk about the hunter mindset and the profiles you hire for.

1. Typically hunter do not make great account managers
2. Hunters are motivated mostly from the hunt or the chase
3. They think out of the box and are typically very creative.
4. Great hunters typically follow a solution mindset with the prospect and the sales process.

If we look at 99% of the businesses we have consulted with, the typical profile is:

1. They are 1-3 in their space.
2. They have 1-5 true competitors with installed base.
3. They compete on big deals 95% of the time.

Another factor we see over and over again is. If you ask any great Sales VP what are three things that keep you up at night.

1. What deals are going down that we are not in or I am not aware of.
2. Can my people execute on different customer facing skills when needed.
3. Depends on the individual...

You Need Hunters

Without HUNTER’s consistently going after new logos, taking away from the competitors or looking at new markets to go after the following usually occurs.

1. Your sales organization becomes stagnant And makes many mistakes
2. The Sales Process gets stale and out dated.
3. Your win loss ratio goes in the wrong direction
4. The competitors start taking away your customers
5. Your growth becomes short lived.

Some of the arguments I have heard against full time hunters are the following.

1. We cannot afford them
2. It will take a year before any fruit is seen.
3. They are very disruptive to my organization.
4. I cannot have 2 or more compensation plans.

In EVERY engagement we have seen the need for hunters within their sales coverage models continues and the business case gets stronger. A great offense is always a great defense. In every market there is always one competitor who believes in taking away or hunting. If that is true for you and you are not hunting, Is that YOU? I will guarantee you will eventually get stale, make mistakes and lose your key accounts if you are not.

If you look back you hunted to get these accounts or you had a sales coverage model that focused on hunting. Why sit back. Keep your competitors on a defensive strategy. Don’t let them become the market leaders. Do not rely on your account managers telling you how good business is. Look at the sales opportunities you are not competing in or have lost in... Those are the real indicators on the health of your sales organization.

Yes my personal view is that if you do not have hunters within your sales organization or in your sales coverage models and you are constantly not on the attack, then I am looking at a business that is in great risk. Stay tuned to my next two blogs on hunters.

1. Hunters: Territory management and alignment
2. Hunters: Compensation that rewards behavior

Topics: Sales Management, Sales Success


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